Below are a selection of messages from President Burstein to the campus community, editorials, and other writings on a variety of subjects.
Email to Lawrence community (dated Sept. 11, 2017)
Several government announcements last week are fostering uncertainty at a time when we should be concentrating on starting the school year. Regarding the announcement to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy I would like to reiterate the Lawrence position that I outlined earlier in the year
Email to Lawrence community (dated May 23, 2017):
The last few days have been painful ones for many members of our community, as they have also been for me. An event sponsored by a group of students calling themselves Students for Free Thought on Wednesday night led to confrontations that illustrated the distance we have yet to go as a community when it comes to discussing conflicting points of view.
Email to Lawrence community (dated Mar. 24, 2017):
As we continue to create a more inclusive Lawrence community, we are reminded of the forces that work against us. On a number of occasions over winter term, flyers containing racist, misogynistic, and homophobic messages were found in public locations on campus.
Email to Lawrence community (dated Feb. 24, 2017):
Yesterday, members of our community discovered two fliers containing hate speech on campus. Campus Safety and university officials have contacted the Appleton Police Department and an investigation is underway. We have learned from the police that similar fliers have been found in other locations in Appleton.
Email to Lawrence community (dated Feb. 6, 2017):
Recent events in the United States have made me, and perhaps many of you, focus more closely on our core values as a community of learners. We believe a Lawrence education provides opportunities to consider, analyze, and prepare us to solve the problems that face this nation and the world. Essential to this goal is the free exchange of ideas and the full representation of different viewpoints.
Email to Faculty, Staff, and Students (dated Jan. 11, 2017):
Welcome back to campus! It is a pleasure to have you return; you enliven what becomes a very quiet place during the break. I hope all of you have come back refreshed and ready to learn. We begin this year steadfast in our commitment to provide insight into the pressing issues that face the world and to create opportunities for learning how to foster communities that include people of different backgrounds and different perspectives.
Note to Campus Community on the Election (dated Nov. 9, 2016):
The recently concluded election cycle raised deep concerns for many of us, including me. The tenets of a Liberal Arts community: respect for others, openness to new, challenging ideas, and reliance on research to help determine solutions, were largely absent from the discourse. But, as we heard from many elected officials today, it is now time for all elements of this nation to come together, as Americans do after elections are over.
Note to the Campus Community on the events of summer 2016 (dated Aug. 16, 2016):
Like many of us, I am deeply troubled by the events of this past summer. So much violence and so many lives lost, both here in the United States and abroad, that underlined society's conflicts about race, sexual orientation, and religion. Each week seemed to bring more tragedy, more sources of division in the world at large. Even more concerning to me was the lack of real discussion and progress toward solutions for the issues that troubled us in the United States.
Email to Faculty, Staff, and Students (dated Nov. 25, 2015):
It is clear we have work to do to become the inclusive community we aspire to be. By the beginning of winter term the administration will offer a response to the requests submitted to Dean Lauderdale and me. I hope the actions we take will provide more opportunity for all of us to better understand central questions around race, identity, and the searing impact of racism.
Email to Parents and Alumni (dated Nov. 20, 2015):
Through the fall, students at many colleges and universities have pressed issues of racism and the need for more inclusive communities. Lawrence students joined this conversation by demonstrating in downtown Appleton and presenting a list of requests to me Tuesday night.
Letter to the editor of the Post-Crescent (dated Nov. 17, 2015):
Many students of color, as well as those who identify as LGBT, have shared experiences with me that do not live up to our community aspirations. At times, they have been harassed and insulted on our streets and in our stores. Their experiences mirror those of other residents in our area.
Email to Students, Faculty, and Staff (dated Nov. 16, 2015):
"During the past few weeks student activism, Expressions of Acceptance micro-operas, the Convocation, and other activities have encouraged us to consider racism on our campus and in the surrounding community. Themes raised here have echoed recently at other universities around the country."